BY CORRESPONDENT,KISUMU,19TH FEB 2018-Tears and sorrow engulfed a Kisumu court on Monday as inquiry into the death of Samantha Pendo got underway.
Things almost came to a standstill as pendo’s mother took to the podium to narrate the events that traspired on the material day.
Lencer Achieng, who was first to take the stand, narrated events of August 12, 2017 when her daughter was allegedly clobbered by police.
Officers had been quelling violence that erupted after IEBC declared President Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the election four days earlier. The county is one of Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s strongholds.
Achieng told Magistrate Berily Omollo that police first broke into her brother-in-law’s house, from where they heard shouts for help.
“I got scared because it was around midnight. I told my husband Joseph Abanja to open the door because we could be next but he told me to calm down,” she said.
“After a few minutes, we heard a knock and officers who demanded that we open the door. At first we declined for fear of being beaten.
“One of the officers said ‘these people have refused to open the door’ and cocked his gun. My door is weak so we normally support it with a chair. They managed to create a space through which they immediately lobbed tear gas canisters.”
The smoke that filled the house left them choking and her husband’s attempts to open the door were futile because the police officers had locked it from outside.
“My husband screamed and shouted that there were kids in the house and that they should open the door. They did so immediately,” she said.
The officers were eight in number and had full riot gear. They descended on her husband with beatings. As she ran out with Pendo on her shoulder, they accosted her.
“I told the officers ‘I surrender, don’t beat me because I have a small baby’. One allowed me to pass but another tried hitting me. I blocked him with my left hand. Another hit me on the back. When I turned, the one in front hit my baby,” she said amid tears, forcing the court to give her time to pull herself together.
“Pendo grabbed and held tightly onto me. When I looked at her, foam was coming out of her mouth and the left side of her head immediately got swollen.
“I started crying that they had killed my child as I went back to the house. Next to the door, my husband was still being beaten by the officers.
Achieng said one of the officers asked her husband to carry out first aid on their child and wipe the foam off her mouth.
She said the policemen retreated shortly after as neighbours came to their help rushing their baby to a nearby hospital for the first aid.
20 more witness will be giving their position as the prosecution embarks on finding those who killed baby pendo.